New Research Shows Inflammation Often Causes Acid Reflux

Acid Reflux, more commonly known as heartburn, has been a troubling and painful mystery for about 20% of Americans for as long as anyone can remember. From over the counter acid reducers to prescription acid blockers people spend money month in and month out seeking some relief.

Unfortunately, many times relief is only temporary and we find ourselves going back to the medicine cabinet in a few hours to find some level of relief once again.

New research shows that the pain of acid reflux may begin long before stomach acid invades the esophagus with the immune system and inflammation. Knowing this will help doctors work on long-term treatment to finally put out the fire of acid reflux once and for all for their patients.  Take a look at what the researchers found.

For more than 80 years, scientists and doctors have assumed that the cause of damage to the esophagus associated with acid reflux in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) was due to stomach acid. But damage is actually caused by inflammation, say researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Dallas VA Medical Center.

Instead of being caused by stomach acid rising into the esophagus and damaging the lining of the esophagus by chemical burns, their research indicates that the damage is the result of an inflammatory response spurred by the secretion of proteins called cytokines.

“Although this radical change in the concept of how acid reflux damages the esophagus of GERD patients will not change our approach to its treatment with acid-suppressing medications in the near future, it could have substantial long-term implications,” said senior author Dr. Stuart Spechler, professor of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern and chief of the Department of Gastroenterology at the Dallas VA Medical Center.

Researchers speculate GERD might one day be treated with drugs that target the cytokines or inflammatory cells that actually cause the damage. – NewsMax

Actions You Can Take To Improve Your Acid Reflux Symptoms

While research continues and doctors look for more effective treatment for acid reflux and the inflammation that often causes it, there are some things you can do to reduce your symptoms and possibly rid your life of acid reflux pain.

Take a look at these dietary and lifestyle guidelines recommended by Dr. Jonathan Aviv in his 28 day reflux prevention.

Our lifestyles also play a part. Smoking, eating late at night, rushing our food and being overweight can cause inflammation or put pressure on the oesophageal valve (rushing our meals and eating late can lead to bloating and gassiness).

Stress is also implicated, as it triggers the release of hormones that can increase production of gastric acid.

DIRTY DOZEN FOODS YOU SHOULD AVOID

These are the foods and drinks you must eliminate in the first phase to create a digestive clean slate:

Fizzy drinks: Even sparkling water — though not acidic, its bubbles can rise from the stomach, carrying acid

Coffee and tea

Citrus fruit: Any with pH 4 or less, including lemon, lime and pineapple

Tomato: This activates and releases pepsin — the enzyme that can eat away and damage throat tissue — but can be neutralised in the second phase

Vinegar: All varieties activate pepsin

Wine: It is very acidic, measuring from pH 2.9 to pH 3.9

Caffeine: Be aware it’s in some painkillers

Chocolate: This contains methylxanthine, which increases stomach acid production and is a carminative

Alcohol: Vodka and tequila are allowed in the next phase

Mint: A powerful carminative, whether as a herb, chewing gum or tea

Raw onion: This is a carminative and also a fructan, which means it causes the intestines to absorb water, causing bloating

Raw garlic: Also a carminative and a fructan. This is off-limits during both phases. Instead, use fennel

AND THOSE YOU CAN ENJOY…

During the healing phase, the first 28 days, stick to foods with a pH of 5 or above, such as:

Fish: Salmon, halibut, trout, plaice, sea bass, sole

Poultry: Chicken breast, minced turkey, eggs

Vegetables: Spinach, cos lettuce, rocket, curly kale, bok choy, broccoli, asparagus, celery, cucumbers, courgette, aubergine, potato, sweet potato, carrots (not baby ones), beetroot, chestnut mushrooms, basil, coriander, parsley, rosemary, dried thyme and sage

Raw fruit: Banana, papaya, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, watermelon, lychee and avocado

Dried fruit: Dates, raisins, desiccated coconut

Nuts and seeds: Cashews, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, almonds, pine nuts

Spreads: Fresh, organic peanut and almond butters

Cheese: Parmesan, mozzarella, other hard cheese

Bread and grains: Rolled oats, wholegrain pasta, wholegrain bread, wholegrain wheat flour

Condiments: Celtic salt, olive and coconut oil, soybean concentrate, vanilla extract, pea protein, white miso paste

– Daily Mail

Do you experience pain from acid reflux on a regular basis?